Membership-Join/Renew/Gift Memberships

We're thrilled that you would like to add your voice to the growing and diverse chorus calling for a cleaner, healthier Chicago River system. We can't thank you enough for your involvement and support of Friends of the Chicago River's mission! Every gift makes you a member of Friends.

Since 1979, Friends has been a proven leader in coming up with creative solutions to our river's most important environmental challenges. As effective as Friends continues to be, our members and supporters like you remain a major part of our success. Every dollar you donate, every hour you volunteer, every Facebook post you share, every Tweet (or retweet) you send, and every photograph you upload to Instagram helps us fill in another piece of the complex puzzle that is the river. 

Putting the pieces of the puzzle together involved understanding the relevant parts of the river system. Once all the key pieces are found and understood, the puzzle as a whole comes together to make a lasting positive change in one of the three areas we focus on: education and outreach, on-the-ground projects, and policy and planning. Friends develops and works on projects that directly involve our staff, the local community, and environmental specialists, using a wide range of approaches in doing so. 

Your gift, no matter the size, goes directly towards improving and protecting the Chicago River system for people, plants, and animals and enables Friends to make real progress in addressing urgent challenges such as litter, pollution, chlorides and much more. Making your donation by December 31 also allows you to include this donation on your year-end taxes if applicable.

Make a membership contribution online or send to:

Friends of the Chicago River
121 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1700
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Any gift to Friends makes you a member. In thanks, you will receive the following to keep you updated on Friends work and how you can get more involved:

  • Subscription to The River Reporter, which is delivered to your home three times per year
  • E-newsletter that provides critical news and river and wildlife stories
  • Free general admission plus discounts on bridge lift events, tour tickets, and merchandise at Friends’ McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum
  • Discounts on our canoe trips
  • Invitations to Friends' special events
  • Business members receive a print certificate showing your employees, associates, and clients that you support the environmental sustainability of the river 
  • Listing in Friends' Annual Report

Most significantly, members and donors receive the reward of knowing that your membership contribution has a direct impact on improving the health and vitality of the Chicago River and ensures future generations have access to the river equal to or better than current generations.

Your support can go even further if your workplace has a matching gift program. Request and complete the employee section of your company’s form, then send it to Friends of the Chicago River to do the rest.

For information on The Otter Society - Friends’ Major Donor Program, Friends’ Endowment Fund, Tribute or Legacy Gifts, Planned Giving, Stock Gifts or Business Memberships and Opportunities, click on those you can to learn more or contact Friends at or (312) 939-0490, ext. 10.